Malta can and must do better!

Joint NGO appeal to the Prime Minister to resolve the Alan Kurdi standoff

We strongly urge Malta to allow the disembarkation of the over 60 people rescued over nine days ago by the Alan Kurdi. In doing so, Malta will ensure a humane end to this incident that prioritises the preservation of lives over political and legal considerations. Whilst we appreciate that these considerations are of course central to the determination of responsibilities and obligations, these should not override or ignore the need to ensure the safety of all rescued persons and of the rescuing crew.

We remind Malta and the European Union that Libya cannot be considered a safe port of disembarkation. Countless reports have been revealing the appalling human rights violations suffered by migrants in Libya. Furthermore, the recent escalation of violence in the country highlights the increased lack of security for Libyans and migrants alike. Forcibly returning migrants, as also Libyan nationals, to Libya would expose them to torture, sexual violence, arbitrary detention, discrimination and – in some cases – death.

We are also extremely concerned that the refusal of coastal states to allow the prompt disembarkation of rescued migrants discourages private vessels from fulfilling their obligation of rescuing any person found to be in distress at sea. Coastal states are therefore strongly urged to take due consideration of the human and commercial strain such incidents place on private vessels.

Whilst we appreciate the difficulties Malta faces due to Italy’s extreme stance on migration issues, we nonetheless appeal to the Prime Minister to prove that the nation may and will rise above this terrible race to the bottom. We can and must do better.

#DontLetThemDrown #LetThemIn

Statement endorsed by:

  1. aditus foundation
  2. Allied Rainbow Communities
  3. Office of the Dean, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta
  4. Department of Gender Studies, University of Malta
  5. Department for Inclusion and Access to Learning, University of Malta
  6. Department of Youth and Community Studies
  7. Drachma LGBTI
  8. Drachma Parents Group
  9. Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants
  10. LGBTI+ Gozo
  11. Integra Foundation
  12. International Association For Refugees
  13. Isles of the Left
  14. Jesuit Refugee Service Malta
  15. Kopin
  16. Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement
  17. Moviment Graffitti  
  18. OASI Foundation 
  19. Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta
  20. Richmond Foundation
  21. Solidarity with Migrants
  22. SOS Malta
  23. Spark 15
  24. Sudanese Community Malta
  25. The Critical Institute
  26. Victim Support Malta
  27. Kummissjoni Ġustizzja u Paċi, Arċidjoċesi ta’ Malta
  28. JosAnn Cutajar